Eight Tips for Securing Speaking Slots at Conferences
If you’ve been frustrated in trying to get accepted to speak at one of the highly regarded industry conferences, this list is for you. Given the competition, the task is difficult to be sure, but it’s not impossible. Understanding the process and adhering to a few simple guidelines can increase your chances of success.
Here are some important points to keep in mind as you continue your quest:
1. Focus on the topics at hand: that is, the ones they suggest.
Some conferences ask attendees to suggest topics and then build future conferences around that input. So, your best bet is to provide abstracts that hit on at least one of the topics put forward by the organizer, unless you have something new and truly extraordinary to share.
2. Carefully craft the title and abstract.
To make it easier for the conference to attract attendees, make sure your title grabs attention and your abstract clearly describes why attendees should be interested and what they are going to learn. You’re offering something valuable — your experience and insight — so highlight what is unique about your take on the topic and stress how it will improve existing systems or practices.
3. Talk technology, applications, and trends … not products.
In most cases, the presentation should not be company- or product-specific, but instead should address the technology behind a product or an industry trend.
4. Partner with an end user.
You’re a very interesting speaker, and you have a lot to say on the topic, but imagine the amplified interest that will come from having an actual user talk about what they’ve done and how they worked with you. The end user can share firsthand experience and provide a real-life perspective for the audience.
5. Reuse and repurpose … but read the fine print.
If you’re considering reusing a presentation, first confirm whether the conference will accept proposals for papers that have already been published or presented elsewhere, because most won’t. But even if you can’t repurpose, all is not lost. If you don’t have an entirely new topic to discuss, update the presentation and come at the topic from a different angle. Maybe there’s nothing new under the sun, but there’s always a new way of looking at something.
6. Make the most of the speaker bio.
The bio is a great opportunity to highlight the speaker’s experience and authority on the topic and to make him or her stand out from other speakers. Dynamic, proven speakers and established experts in their fields are more likely to attract an audience.
7. Submit early.
Don’t wait until the last day to submit your proposal. Conference organizers start reviewing proposals early so they can confirm speakers and start promoting the conference lineup. If you wait until the end, you might be rejected simply because organizers have already filled all the slots. In fact, it’s best to make yourself known as early as possible, when there is less competition.
8. Be visible.
Don’t be shy about reaching out to the organizer if you don’t hear anything. If you do get rejected, don’t be discouraged. Try for the same conference the following year. It’s important to show organizations that you are genuinely interested and eager to share your knowledge and to help advance technology. And be sure to ask for feedback — and then apply it to your next proposal.
There’s no question that it can be a lot of work just getting to the point of securing the speaking engagement. And then there’s all the work of preparing the actual paper/presentation once you’ve been accepted. If it all seems too daunting, Wall Street Communications knows just what to do. We can help you choose topics, prepare abstracts and bios, write technical papers, and coordinate the whole process … from inception to the moment you step on stage.
Click here or call to learn more.
In the meantime, good luck, and keep on trying!